Tight Shoulder Tips

We all overdo it sometimes.  Or we tend to hold stress in certain places.

I’m a neck person. BC7982-002

As in, I’ll often hold stress in my neck and shoulders.  I’ll have to consciously relax them back and down as they tend to get tight and roll forward- which is no bueno for your body mechanics and good posture.

The reason I’m typing this now is that my shoulders have gotten painfully tight again.  It’s stress for sure, but also just hitting the weights too much.

I’m realizing that training my shoulders more than once a week leads to them balling up into little angry knots that hate me.

Shoulders can be tricky.  You want to train them, but you have to be really careful not to overdo it.  Especially in any movement where you are pushing weight up over your head.  You also want to be conscious not to hold tension in your neck or jaw on lifting movements.

But if you are like me and they get tight in spite of all this- there are some things you can do.

First off is the really old school option of a hot bath with epsom salts.  You can be fancy and do magnesium flakes instead.  I like to add 2-3 cups to a very hot bath along with 10 drops of lavender oil.  It’s incredibly therapeutic and the magnesium acts as a natural muscle relaxant.

A great foam rolling option is the rumble roller.  16RMRURMBLRLLRFRMEAC_is

It looks like a medieval torture device but this thing works.  I bought mine back in 2013 when my shoulders were in awful shape from breastfeeding and carrying my baby around 24-7.  I still use it almost everyday.  I used to have to go to the chiro weekly because my back, neck and shoulders were in so much pain.  I very rarely go now.  At around $70 it isn’t cheap but mine paid for itself pretty quickly.

You can also go super cheap and use a tennis ball.  Just put the ball between your tight muscle and the wall or the floor (whatever works best, depending on the muscle) and rub it out.  I really like this method for working out my tight hip flexors.

Of course the cheapest (free!) option is to stretch every day.  Learn some good stretches and do them often.  Try to maintain good posture throughout your day.  When you drive give your posterior neck muscles a workout by pushing your head back into the head rest instead of letting it go forward like a turtle.

Of course nothing really works as well as a good ole massage.   You can do what I do and beg a message from a friend or family member.  Or go ahead and treat yourself to a professional massage.  Sometimes it’s the only thing that’ll do!

The Gun Show

This is actually going to be a legit post and not just an excuse to show off my sweet lady “guns”… I promise 😉

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Wow, a lot of pasty whiteness going on up above.  *shrug*  It’s February in Minnesota and we too poor for a Hawaii getaway and too smart to tan in a booth.  But anyhoos I am a lady who lifts.  Ever since I saw Linda Hamilton kicking ass and taking names in Terminator 2, I’ve been inspired with a fitness warrior mindset.

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Beast Level: Expert

It’s an extreme look, definitely not everyone’s cup o’ tea.  Heck, even I don’t want to look quite that shredded.  But it is insanely inspiring.  You won’t look like this though unless you are training with commandos 2 hours a day and on an insanely strict diet.

You also won’t turn into a frightening female bodybuilder with quads like oak tress from hitting the weights room a few times a week.  I’ve been lifting weights for years and I still look like a girl.  The ladies who don’t usually are using questionable substances to alter their sex hormones.  Estrogen works to build denser muscles.  That’s why you can put on lean body mass (muscle) and gain weight but look smaller.  For instance, I’m ten pounds heavier than I was ten years ago but roughly the same size.  

Weight lifting causes your body to release a cascade of hormones that keep you young, healthy and more resilient.  If you want to avoid osteoporosis and frailty as you get older you need to go get a barbell, girl.

Another reason I lift is because of my role model who happens to be my mom.  She is 57 and is still hitting the weights and challenging herself.  We often swap workout videos!  She’s been lifting weights since the 80’s and she has a vitality and joy for life which is unusual for women even 20 years younger.  Plus she looks great!

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After a color run, can you tell which one is my mom and which one is my sister? 😛

If you want to get started and don’t know how, don’t be afraid to get a trainer or pick up tips from a gym rat friend.  I’ve mostly stuck with videos because I can do them in the privacy of my basement.  I’ve assembled quite the collection of equipment and videos over the years.  I usually stick with Cathe Friedrich workouts because she is simply the best.

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Lady Beast

She’s 53 and as crazy fit as ever.

Start lifting now.  Do it for your body composition.  Do it for your bones.  Do it for your self-esteem and a vitalizing sense of empowerment.

Find your inner lady beast!  Or if you’re a dude and made it through till this point- your inner man beast!